Day three of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft was held on Saturday, concluding this year’s draft.
Here’s an overview of the players the Tribe selected:
Round 11 (338th overall): RHP Jared Robinson, Cerritos College (California) – A right-handed starter from the junior college ranks. Robinson measures in at 6’0″ and 190 pounds. He has never been previously drafted.
Round 12 (368th overall): RHP Jordan Dunatov, University of Nevada-Reno – Continuing where they left off with their previous selection of Robinson, the Indians again elect to go with a right hander from a junior college. Dunatov stands a tall 6’5″ and weighs 200 pounds. He was previously drafted by the Pirates in the 14th round back in 2011, though Pittsburgh selected him as an outfielder. His uncle played professionally for two seasons in Oakland’s farm system, so the family bloodlines are certainly there. Dunatov began his college career at Oregon State.
Round 13 (398th overall): SS Austin Fisher, Kansas State – The 6’1″, 195-pound Fisher is currently a junior for the Wildcats. The left-handed hitting infielder was an All-Big 12 First Team selection in his sophomore year (2013), and has compiled a cumulative .327/.417/.431 slash line in his three college seasons, adding 4 long balls and 74 RBI in 459 at-bats. His father, grandfather, and uncle have all played professional baseball.
Round 14 (428th overall): RHP Grayson Jones, Shelton State Community College (Alabama) – Early on Day 3, the Indians have shown an interest in right handed pitchers from junior colleges. Jones is a 6’1″ and 205-pound starting pitcher began his career at Louisiana-Monroe, but now finds himself drafted from a junior college instead.
Round 15 (458th overall): RHP Luke Eubank, Oxnard College (California) – Right-handed pitchers and left-handed hitters continued to be a focus of the Tribe early in the draft. Eubank originally began his college career at Western Nevada College, but transferred to Oxnard for this season. He stands at 6’0″ and 180 pounds. His delivery makes scouts think of former Indians reliever Joe Smith, as Eubank features a fastball and slider from his low three-quarter arm slot. His fastball can bring it up to 93-94 mph, and his unique arm slot helps him induce plenty of ground balls. His slider can touch the mid-to-late 80s as well. He has good command, though it might not necessarily be good enough to be a starter in pro ball. He’s started in college, but a move to the bullpen professionally is definitely possible. Eubank was ranked as the 191st overall prospect in the draft by MLB.com.
Round 16 (488th overall): RHP J.P. Feyereisen, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point – Another right-handed pitcher, Feyereisen is a junior in college. He stands 6’2″ and weighs 215 pounds. He was named the WIAC pitcher of the year in 2013 and was named a First-Team All Midwest Region selection that same year. He’s pitched well in his college career, displaying an adequate ability to miss bats and solid control. This season, he was named as the top professional prospect in Division III by Baseball America. He has a fastball that can sit between 90 and 91 mph, but can touch 94 at times. He also has an impressive slider with great power to it. He’s dominated as a late-inning reliever, but may be able to start professionally. His build reminds some of the only other big leaguer to come from Stevens Point, Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann.
Round 17 (518th overall): RHP Cameron Hill, Redlands Community College (Oklahoma) – Yet another right-handed starter from a junior college, Hill is 6’1″ and 185 pounds. Not much is known about Hill, but the Indians have certainly been doing their homework on junior college pitchers, specifically righties.
Round 18 (548th overall): OF Taylor Murphy, University of the Pacific (California) – A junior, the left-handed hitting Murphy is 6’1″ and 185 pounds. The cousin of former major league infielder Geoff Blum, Murphy was previously drafted out of high school in the 40th round by the Padres in 2011. He has decent hitting ability, and will hit a few home runs — though not many. His speed isn’t bad, and he is difficult to strike out, as he struck out a total of just 3 times in 37 games his senior year in high school.
Round 19 (578th overall): RHP Argenis Angulo, Ranger College (Texas) – The 6’3″, 220-pound Angulo represents something familiar to the Indians on Day 3 of the draft: right-handed pitching from a junior college. Angulo was ranked as the 439th overall prospect by Baseball America, including 36th from the state of Texas.
Round 20 (608th overall): C Gian Paul Gonzalez, Discipulos De Cristo High School (Puerto Rico) – A right-handed hitting, high school position player seems to go against everything the Indians have done in the draft to this point. However, Gonzalez has a good catcher’s body at 6’0″ and 185 pounds, though he could stand to add some more weight. He is the second catcher the Indians have selected, and the second player from Puerto Rico they have taken. He can play third base as well, but catcher would appear to be the position he’ll play professionally. While participating in the Perfect Game showcase, Gonzalez ran a 6.96 second 60 meter dash, and had a solid pop time of 1.92 seconds.
Round 21 (638th overall): OF Bobby Ison, Charleston Southern University – The 2014 Big South preseason player of the year, Ison is listed on his MLB.com scouting report as 5’8″ and 170 pounds. The left-handed hitting (and throwing) junior hit .367 as a sophomore, leading his conference with 84 hits in the process. In addition, he struck out only 25 times in his first 475 college plate appearances. He’s a prototypical leadoff hitter that knows how to hit and get on base, has decent speed, doesn’t have a lot of power, and doesn’t strike out. Ison is one of those players who puts in every ounce of effort he can, and is the kind of scrappy player that every team needs to have. Few prospects have a story like Ison’s — as a middle school student, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, where the immune system attacks the nerves (his entire story is profiled in this article). Ison was briefly unable to use his legs, and was told he would miss an entire season of playing baseball. However, Ison refused to give up, and made it back in time to play the final two games of that season. He says that every time he steps on the field, he treats it like his last chance there — because it almost was. His 17-year old brother has special needs and is a motivator to him as well. His college coach compares Ison to another player he coached, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner. If there’s anyone in this draft for fans to root for, it’s Bobby Ison. (Ison also took the time to personally respond to a tweet I sent him and seems like an all-around great guy. Plus, he followed me back, which is really awesome.)
Round 22 (668th overall): RHP Jordan Carter, Saint Joseph’s University – Carter, a senior, stands at 6’4″ and weighs 195 pounds. A workhorse starter, Carter was also named to the Big 5 All-Academic Team and earned his university’s Scholar-Athlete Award as a junior in 2013.
Round 23 (698th overall): OF David Armendariz, Cal Poly Pomona – The right-handed hitting Armendariz, a college senior, is 6’1″ and weighs 215 pounds. He went undrafted as a junior last year, but used that as motivation and had solid showings in the Cape Cod League last summer and during the regular season this spring. In 193 at-bats this season, Armendariz has hit .332 with 10 home runs and 56 RBI.
Round 24 (728th overall): CF Jodd Carter, Hilo High School (Hawaii) – Another outfielder who fits the profile for center, Carter is 5’10″ and weighs 170 pounds. The right-handed hitter was ranked as the 473rd best prospect in the draft by Baseball America, and 6th from Hawaii. He has good but not great speed, and was clocked running a 7.00 second 60 meter dash while participating at the Perfect Game showcase. Through watching film of him, he looks to have a smooth, line drive-oriented swing.
Round 25 (758th overall): C Kainoa Harrison, Punahou High School (Hawaii) – The second consecutive player the Indians selected from Hawaii, Harrison (also known as K.J.) is a talented right-handed hitter who was ranked as the 172nd overall draft prospect by MLB.com. The 5’11″, 180 pound Harrison has solid catch and throw skills, as well as a great arm for gunning down baserunners. His body is believed to be durable enough to catch at the next level, and while he struggled on offense against better pitching, he looked better at the plate in pre-draft workouts and is said to at least have power to his pull side. His father played professional baseball, and while Harrison has the talent to be much better than an average 25th-round pick, he has a commitment to Oregon State and the Indians may have problems when it comes to signing him. However, hopefully the Indians are able to bring him into the organization, as Harrison’s talent is way too good for him to be drafted this late.
Round 26 (788th overall): OF Reese Cooley, Fleming Island High School (Florida) – The Indians have gone on a recent run of outfielders in the draft, and Cooley is no exception. The right-handed hitter measures 6’2″ and weighs 197 pounds and scouts who have seen him rave about his amazing athleticism. He has legitimate five-tool potential, as his power is starting to appear as well. Baseball America ranked him as the 406th overall prospect in the draft, including 58th in Florida, a state with an impressive record of amateur talent.
Round 27 (818th overall): LHP David Speer, Columbia University – The first left-handed pitcher taken by the Indians on Saturday, Speer, a college senior, stands 6’1″ and weighs 185 pounds. The unanimous recipient of the 2014 Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Award, Speer pitched to a dominating 9-0 record and 1.06 ERA this season. He was a First-Team All-Conference selection as well. Coming from an Ivy League program, it appears safe to say that Speer is an intelligent pitcher as well.
Round 28 (848th overall): 3B Nathan Winfrey, Maplewoods Community College (Missouri) – Another junior college prospect for the Indians, Winfrey stands 6’2″ and weighs 205 pounds. After his senior season in high school in which he hit .485 with 2 homers and 50 RBI, he committed to play at Wichita State. However, the right-handed hitter obviously changed his plans and now finds himself as the 848th player taken in this year’s draft. He’s played shortstop as well, but with the Indians’ stockpile of middle infield prospects, it doesn’t seem like too much of a surprise to see Winfrey moved to a corner infield spot.
Round 29 (878th overall): 2B Drake Roberts, St. Mary’s University – A switch-hitting, right-handed throwing middle infielder, Roberts is 5’9″ and 160 pounds. The college junior is currently hitting .289 with 3 home runs and 33 RBI in 204 at-bats this year. His father played professional tennis, if you’re into that.
Round 30 (908th overall): RHP Nick Hynes, Riverside Community College (California) – Hynes is 6’4″ and 230 pounds, possessing the type of size teams love in a starting pitcher. The righty’s fastball was clocked at 90 mph during his appearance at the Perfect Game showcase, though that was back in 2012. He also played third base (and would obviously have the arm to stay there), but pitching is where he’ll appear to make his mark as a professional.
Round 31 (938th overall): RHP Dominic DeMasi, Valdosta State University – A junior in college, the 21-year old DeMasi stands 6’3″ and weighs 190 pounds. This season, he had a record of 7-4 and a team-leading 2.79 ERA. In 80 2/3 innings, DeMasi struck out 77 batters and allowed only 62 hits, as opponents hit only .216 against him. He’s also the punter for the school’s football team (hey, punters are people too), where he punted 11 times for 428 yards — an average of 38.9 yards per kick.
Round 32 (968th overall): LHP Jared West, University of Houston – West, a southpaw on the mound (he hits right-handed, though that probably doesn’t matter) is tall at 6’6″, and weighs 220 pounds. College sophomores aren’t often draft-eligible, but that’s exactly what West is — despite being drafted by the Pirates in the 39th round of the 2012 round. After a rough freshman year in which he only pitched 7 1/3 innings, West rebounded with a 2.90 ERA in 49 2/3 innings across 10 starts and 4 relief appearances, striking out 39 and walking 18 (he also allowed 38 hits). He has a sister and three brothers, including two who have played professional baseball (one of his brothers is Sean West, a former first-round pick by the Marlins who has a 5.03 ERA in 112 2/3 career major league innings). His bio in Houston’s media guide says that he likes music too, so that’s pretty cool.
Round 33 (998th overall): 3B Peter Dolan, Gilmour Academy (Ohio) – If something about Dolan’s name seems peculiar, it is. Before I go any further, he is in fact the son of Indians owner Paul Dolan. With that being said, one would think that the Indians would be able to sign the right-handed third baseman. He is a product of Gilmour Academy (my parents, who were both born and raised nearby, call it a “hoity-toity” place) and is from Chagrin Falls, so the Indians obviously know more about him than other teams. He is 5’11″ and weighs 180 pounds, and hit .378/.437/.486 with no homers and 59 RBI through 66 high school games.
Round 34 (1028th overall): 3B Cody Callaway, Midview High School (Ohio) – Another local prospect for the Indians, Calloway is a 6’3″, 195-pound infielder from Elyria. He’s mostly played shortstop in the past, but the Indians have drafted him as a third baseman. A terrific athlete, Callaway is committed to Bowling Green to play baseball and quarterback for the school’s football team. He’s also pitched, but he’ll be a position player at the next level if he chooses to sign with the Indians.
Round 35 (1058th overall): 3B Joseph Dunand, Gulliver Prep School (Florida) – The third consecutive prep school third baseman the Indians have taken, Dunand is a right-handed hitter, measures 6’3″, and weighs 190 pounds. He is also capable of playing shortstop, just like his uncle…who just so happens to be Alex Rodriguez. Like his uncle, Dunand has plenty of power and a terrific all-around game, but he can also throw 86 mph from the mound. He also completely DOMINATED this year’s Horizon National Tournament, where he hit .833 (10 hits in 12 at-bats) in 5 games. Of those 10 hits, NINE were home runs, including his last eight swings. His mark of 8 homers in 8 swings is believed to be a national record. (By the way, the field the tournament was held at has major league outfield dimensions.) He is committed to NC State.
Round 36 (1088th overall): SS Max Bartlett, Gulf Coast Community College (Florida) – The son of an Indians cross-checker, Bartlett is a 5’11″, 165-pound middle infielder. He hits and throws right-handed, and is a native of Starkville, Mississippi.
Round 37 (1118th overall): C Juan Gomes, Odessa College (Texas) – YES. THIS IS IN FACT THE BROTHER OF Yan Gomes. I think it’s pretty funny that Yan has a brother named Juan, but that’s just another thing that makes these two brothers awesome. The younger Gomes is a right-handed hitting and throwing catcher. He is 6’2″, weighs 185 pounds, and was drafted in the 49th round of the 2010 draft by the Rangers. Other than that, it’s incredibly difficult to find much about the younger Gomes, though I have a feeling he’s already a fan favorite.
Round 38 (1148th overall): CF Cody Jones, Texas Christian University – Jones, a junior at TCU, is 5’11′ and 175 pounds. He’s a switch-hitter and throws right-handed. The Round Rock native hit .269 with a home run and 18 RBI during his sophomore season in 2013. He started all 57 games, leading off in 51 of them. He’s good at stealing bases and drawing walks, and projects as a leadoff hitter professionally. The Indians have taken a lot of players like Jones so far in the draft, but athleticism (which Jones has) is becoming more desirable for organizations to draft and develop, and the Indians have certainly been no exception.
Round 39 (1178th overall): RHP Jake Morton, Oakland University (Michigan) – A right-handed junior at Oakland, Morton is 6’1″ and weighs 200 pounds. He was drafted by the Tigers in the 45th round of the 2010 draft, but didn’t sign and chose to go to college instead. This season, Morton played in 36 games (making 35 starts), hitting .239 but having an on-base percentage of .370. Despite playing the outfield and pitching in high school, he converted to catcher in college. However, it appears as though the Indians are converting him back to pitching, which is how he’ll begin his professional career if the Indians sign him.
Round 40 (1208th overall): RHP Ryder Ryan, North Mecklenburg High School (North Carolina) – A lot of scouts preferred Ryan as a third baseman because of his power at the plate, but his great season on the mound convinced many that he’ll be better served as a pitcher at the next level. The right-hander is a sturdy 6’2″ and 205 pounds, and he features a fastball that usually ranges in the low-to-mid 90s, but can touch 96 mph at times as well. His secondary pitches have received praise for being much more advanced than other prep pitchers, despite Ryan not pitching full-time. In addition to third base, he’s also caught, and many scouts believe he can become even better as he focuses solely on pitching. He was coached in high school by his father (who reached Triple-A himself). Some scouts think he was worked too hard by his father, which could be a concern, but the biggest issue is his commitment to North Carolina. He could be a tough sign, but if the Indians can find a way to agree to terms with him, Ryan could be one of the bigger steals of the draft. Ryan was ranked by MLB.com as the 127th overall prospect in this year’s draft, so prying him away from college would be a major victory for the Indians if they’re able to do so.
With that, the 2014 First-Year Player Draft has come to an end. The Indians ended up selecting 42 players, but it remains to be seen how many of them will sign contracts with the Tribe.
Scouting Director Brad Grant did a great job of adding a mixture of college and high school pitching, as well as a variety of projectable bats capable of playing all across the field.
There are more than a few players the Indians selected that could become valuable contributors for the Tribe in a few years, and many others have the potential to become some of the draft’s biggest steals if they join the organization.
That’s better than a lot of teams can say each year, so the Indians did a terrific job.
It’s way too early to judge this year’s draft class, but it’s hard not to be optimistic about the talent the Indians could be adding to the organization this year.